My husband and I had very interesting holiday date dinner at the Liberty Public House a year ago. After a friend told me that Liberty Public House had the best french fries in the Hudson Valley, I had to investigate! Although I have walked by this restaurant many times, I had never been inside it. (It took over the Starr Place restaurant location after Starr Place closed). When I entered, I felt like I had been whisked away to an old Washington, D.C. restaurant. American flags and American history memorobilia decorate the walls, and a glowing white Christmas tree sits atop a table in the center of the room. It was 6pm on Sunday night and the restaurant was starting to get crowded.
I had been craving potato pancakes all week after seeing so many friends post their latkes on Facebook so I was really excited to see potato pancakes as an appetizer on the menu. Tom had the house cured gravlax on potato crepes with sour cream and caviar. Liberty Public House has a nice wine list, and it was nice to drink a glass of Channing Daughters wine as I pass by that winery a million times when I'm in Long Island, but I never stop. The table next to us was going all out with champagne bottle service at the table.
For the entree, Tom enjoyed the Liberty burger & Freedom Fries. (And, yes those garlic fries were quite memorable!) For my entree, I had the grilled salmon with horseradish potatoes, which was cooked to perfection. We shared a toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream for dessert. After we left the restaurant, Tom said, "Wow! That was a strong meal!" I would have to agree with him.
Vanessa Ahern writes has been blogging about the Hudson Valley since 2009. Follow her Hudson Valley adventures at Hudson Valley Good Stuff, and sign up for her newsletter.
Along with their buddies the Cramps, Falco and his band were among the earliest pioneers of the distorted and sometimes noir-ish garage-roots sound that birthed the psychobilly and blues punk genres. Now an influential icon in Europe, Falco, a sometime filmmaker and performance artist, began Panther Burns in his native Memphis in 1979. With a shifting lineup that occasionally featured the late local legends Alex Chilton and James Luther Dickinson, the group waxed the classic LPs Behind the Magnolia Curtain (1981) and Blow Your Top (1982), became visiting darlings of the downtown New York scene, and toured with the Clash. Over the years, Falco has divided his time between music, photography, film acting (most recently he played a tango dancer in 2003’s Dans le Rouge du Couchant), and authoring books (he wrote 2011’s second installment of the two-volume Mondo Memphis, a history/psychogeography of the Southern city).
Check this clip of the band live in New Orleans just last year:
Tav Falco’s Panther Burns will perform on December 6 at 8:30pm at the Towne Crier in Beacon. Tickets are $20. For more information, call (845) 855-1300 or visit http://www.townecrier.com/.
My friend and I had a delicious lunch at the new Kodomo Asian Bistro in Kings Mall in Kingston last Friday. It's hard to see the elegant interior from the outside. The place is spotless, spacious with elegant dark decor. We were there around 12 noon and it wasn't too crowded, but I think people just don't know about it yet. We were seated right away. Kodomo has an extensive menu with mostly Japanese dishes and a few Thai curry dishes, and a few Indian-themed dishes. The $10 Bento Box Lunch special is a great deal. Other menu items such as filet mignon and rack of lamb are in the $20 and up.
I ordered the Bento Box Lunch Special for $10, which includes a salad, soup, 1 entree, 1 appetizer choice, as well as California rolls. For my appetizer I chose the aged tofu, and the Thai curry shrimp for my entree choice. The server said it would just mildly spicy, and she was right. My friend had the Bento Box Special with the char-grilled terriyaki steak. She liked hers as well. I requested brown rice instead of white rice with mine for 50 cents more. My friend doesn't like avocado so she gave me her California rolls, which I was grateful for because they were very good. The servers are very attentive. I hope more people will find out about this place. Next door there is a very cute self-serve Frozen Yogurt Lounge too.
Now the code of silence is breaking. Reconceiving Loss, a Rhinebeck-based organization and website created by Tara Shafer and her husband, Gavin Curran, has teamed up with filmmaker Sean Hamish for a project that aims to collect and share stories about baby loss. Hamish's latest film, Return to Zero, starring Minnie Driver and Paul Adelstein as a successful couple who lose their child in utero days before his birth, will be released in spring 2014. During production, Hamish requested submissions for a book about such stories; the collection, Three Minus One, will be released in conjunction with the release of the film.
The sheer volume of heartfelt stories submitted for the book led to an expanded project with Reconceiving Loss, which features a digital resource center for families coping with infant and pregnancy loss. To read the stories or to submit your own, visit reconceivingloss.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the film, Return to Zero, and its mission, visit returntozerothemovie.com.
Elder scenesters may recall Dosh from his 1990s years of studying music and literature at Simon’s Rock in Western Massachusetts and, later, at SUNY New Paltz. Back then, he was a strong presence on the local music scene, drumming with the band Como Zoo and establishing himself as an adventurous improviser at jam sessions and open mikes.
DOSH will perform with the Sweet Clementines and the Fasads at BSP Lounge in Kingston on December 3 at 8pm. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 day of show. For details, call (845) 481-5158 or visit http://bspkingston.com/.
I really enjoyed the Bryan Adams concert at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) in Kingston on Monday night. The whole concept of the Bare Bones acoustic show was to pare down 30 years worth of songs to just the best musical parts—the bare bones. He opened with “Run to You.” Sang “You’re Still the One,” ”Heaven,” “Summer of 69,″ “Here I Am,” ”Love Cuts Like a Knife,” and”If Ya Wanna Be Bad, Ya Gotta Be Good.” This one was fun as a woman in the front row got his attention and danced for him. He thanked her with an air kiss. He told stories about writing songs for the love of music in basements, making the best of the chances you get, and stories of cats that pee in basements.
His musical sidekick Gary who played the piano beautifully looked like a younger version of Bryan Adams. Right before the end of the show he invited the audience to get closer to the stage. He introduced one song with “You’ve probably heard this at a Mexican restaurant. It goes great with chips and guacamole” and he then sang “Tell Me Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” and then ended with my favorite Bryan Adams song “Straight from the Heart." It was a great show with a plenty of funny audience shout-outs, and it was my first time at UPAC, which is a beautiful venue staffed with friendly people.
Before the show, a UPAC representative told the audience that there will be no photography during the show. (I think this is code for just don’t take too many photos with your phone!) Well, it was tough for me, but I told myself, “Just pretend it’s 1981 and you are at a Bryan Adams concert” and that kind of worked for a while. Adams has really kept his voice in shape over the past 30 years. Hard to believe he is 54 years old. I do like his newer songs particularly the sweet “Here I Am” (2004) but it was nice to hear him say, “I’m gonna take you down memory lane.” The couple in front of us were from Catskill. I overheard the man tell the stranger next to him that “I’d Do Anything for You” was their wedding song. Yep, Adams sang that one too and there was lots of smooching going on.
During the show, he invited 4 people who were sitting in the last row of the balcony to come down to the front row since a few seats weren’t filled. UPAC updated their Facebook status to thank Bryan Adams for donating to their fundraiser. Adams pulled out a $100 bill from his wallet after the show to donate to “dinner and a show” a UPAC fundraiser which gives money to local food banks. If Bryan Adams comes to your town, go see him! He’ll romance you, and might even give you an air kiss, or a free upgrade to a front row seat. You never know! Check out UPAC’s concert schedule for upcoming concert info.
Vanessa Ahern writers about where to eat, play & recharge your spirit in the Hudson Valley on her blog Hudson Valley Good Stuff.
Led on stage by the incomparable Soledad Barrio, Noche Flamenca was founded in Spain in 1993 and is today considered the world’s most authentic touring flamenco dance troupe. Now based in New York, the group regularly performs around the globe, bringing “to the stage the essence, purity, and integrity of one of the world’s most mysterious and complex art forms without the use of tricks or gimmicks. All aspects of flamenco—dance, song, and music—are given equal weight in the presentations of Noche Flamenca, creating a true communal spirit within the company—the very heart and soul of flamenco.”
For a taste of what the above is getting at, just watch this video of Barrio and Noche Flamenca in full flight:
Noche Flamenca will perform at Kaatsbaan Dance Studio in Tivoli, New York, on November 30 at 7:30pm and December 1 at 2:30pm. Tickets are $30 and $45 for cafe table seating. For more information, call (845) 757-5106 extension 2 or 10 or visit http://www.kaatsbaan.org/.
Chronogram profiled this secluded Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired structure back in May 2011, when it was owned by sheet-metal mogul Joe Massaro. When we learned that Angelina Jolie bought it for Brad Pitt as a 50th birthday present, we sent around a photographer. Here are some pics we snapped of the happy couple on their 50-acre heart-shaped island on Lake Mahopac.
The Lodge at Woodloch, a beautiful destination spa in the Poconos (Hawley, Pennsylvania) invited Hudson Valley Good Stuff for an overnight getaway. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Kingston. (Just take the NYS thurway to Newburg and then switched over to I-84 West for 60 miles). The hospitality of The Lodge hits you as soon as you surrender your car to the valet parking. When we checked in, we were offered a quick tour of the first floor. Though I thought it would be an off-weekend, the hotel was rather crowded. There were couples relaxing by the fireplace, and women walking around in plush bathrobes and slippers. I was happy we had made dinner reservations for 8pm. We settled into our room where a delicious cheese platter was waiting for us. We gobbled that up, and then headed to the indoor pool and waterfall jaccuzi. We were the only ones there so I took a few photos between dips in the pool.
The dining room is cozy and festive. The diners were couples mostly thirty-somethings and up, girlfriend gatherings, and a few larger groups. (The Lodge at Woodloch is adults only and only accepts ages 16 and up, though the sister property Pines Resort which is 2 miles away, welcomes families). A guitarist sang James Taylor songs by the fireplace while we dined. It was all lovely. The menu arrived with no prices, and I remembered that this an inclusive-deal and guests only pay extra if they have an alcoholic beverage.
I soon found out all their menu items are tailored to healthy spa lifestyle with many vegan and gluten-free dishes. (No french-fries or buffalo wings here). I started with the baby arugula salad, and Tom had the ceasar salad. The service was super-friendly and attentive, and you never have to wait for your partner’s food to arrive because 2 servers come out at the same time to each table. For my entree, I had the Jail Island Salmon, perfectly cooked over tasty parsnip puree. Tom had the grilled center cut strip steak. Dinner comes with dessert, and I had the creme brulee. He had the cobbler of the day. (Desserts are plenty, but they are “spa-sized” so I didn’t feel too guilty. After dinner we walked outside and saw a group of people sitting around a fire-pit.
Saturday morning we had a delicious healthy power breakfast around 7:45 am. In addition to the breakfast buffet that has oatmeal, fruit, and breads, you get to choose a main entree. I ordered the poached farm eggs over grilled gluten-free bread.My favorite part of the breakfast was the fresh pressed green juice (apple, celery, cucumber, kale) that was really the best I’ve tasted. Maybe the restaurants have a secret gadget or way of making it? Even my husband, an anti-juicing guy, liked it! (I got to order it again with my lunch 4 hours later). Tom had a cheddar and spinach omelet.
After breakfast we drove 2 miles down the road to tour the Pines Resort property which caters to families. (I will cover that in a separate post). We had to return to the spa at 10 am for spa services. I booked myself for a Cranberry Body Polish for 50 minutes, and Tom had the Gentleman’s Facial for 50 minutes. The women’s retreat (locker room) is beautifully done with all the amenities including a steam room, a whirlpool, a spacious dry sauna, and fancy showers. The Cranberry Body Polish was fantastic. The massage therapist applied a mixture made of cranberries, honey crystals and spices to exfoliating the body. Afterwards, you rinse off in a hot shower, towel off, and return to the table for a 20 minute massage and moisturizing treatment with vanilla cream. I left with very soft skin and smelling like a cupcake.
Downstairs from the women’s retreat, I found the Whisper Lounge, a quiet comfy co-ed oasis overlooking the woods. I relaxed and had a copy of Mighty Leaf tea by myself. After a few minutes, I got a little lonely and went to find Tom who was swimming laps in the pool.
For lunch, I had a rosemary and thyme crusted tofu with quinoa with drizzled maple syrup. Tom had the spa black bean burger, which was really a wrap, which was very good. Smoothies are also available at extra charge, but the lunch was very filling so I just enjoyed my green juice drink. We left around 1pm, but not before a little retail therapy at the gift shop. There is also a fitness center, and fitness classes to choose from. I didn’t take advantage of the fitness center, but I just wanted to relax, and we were there just for one night, but it’s nice to have that option. I saw quite a few guests power walking along the trails and the lake too. The time went by all too fast, and it was an invigorating and relaxing Friday night getaway. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a couples getaway or a getaway with friends, or mother/daughter spa weekend in the Poconos, a 2-hour drive from Kingston. See The Lodge at Woodloch website for the prices and special spa package deals. I will post more photos from our trip on the Hudson Valley Good Stuff Facebook Page.
Vanessa Geneva Ahern writes about the Hudson Valley and beyond at HudsonValleyGoodStuff.com.
Alicia: We can't help it. We Photoshop Brad and Angie into tons of pictures here…
Soooooo why the photoshopped pictures?
Learn all about the Ramones in the book; “ON THE ROAD WITH THE RAMONES”. Throughout…
I hope they have a sewing sewcial!